Pressed

woods-and-fog-with-sun

Pressure.  Sometimes we feel it in our health.  At other points our minds, emotions, finances, or relationships start to feel the squeeze.  It hurts, it’s uncomfortable, and in the middle of the circumstance we can easily fall into wondering.  Now, I don’t know about you, but my wondering often turns to wandering.  My mind, heart, and even emotions wander into thoughts, actions, and feelings that are outside of my normal.  Many times they are outside of what I know is right.

In our discomfort we forget, and this temporary amnesia leads to distrust of God.  In my current season of being pressed, I was reminded by Lysa TerKeurst from her book  Uninvited:  Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely of the lesson from the olive:

On the other side of the harsh wind is fruit.  On the other side of the process of being broken and waiting is a useful heart free of bitterness.  On the other side of being pressed and crushed is oil…the most valuable part of me set free to emerge.*

This time and space which feels awful, is drawing out the best I have to offer. When I have reached my oil stage, I can be used by God to create light.  Exodus 27:20 (CSB)records God saying, “You are to command the Israelites to bring you pure oil from crushed olives for the light…”  Did you know your present pressing can be the fuel for someone else to see light?  Friends, don’t miss this connection.  You are being pressed, because you were made to be light.

So what do you do now?  What do you hold onto when it feels like a portion of your world is crashing in?  Seek God.  Jesus took his moment of pressing to go into the garden and seek God with an honest heart.  He asked for relief, for his suffering to go away.  As you are feeling the pressure, are you seeking God with prayer, time in His Word, and by surrounding yourself with those that will speak life to you?  There is no need for “good” prayers or staying busy to hide the pain you feel. Drop it at God’s feet, be honest in the words and emotions, be transparent, and then keep returning.  Keep coming back and work through your pain with the Healer.

At the end, when you are through this pressing season, I would encourage a moment of looking back.  Take stock of all that has happened and where you are now.  What developed inside of you?  I hope you will recognize how you’ve been taken from one state into another, and that the world needed your change to create the blessing only you could bring.

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